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Old 15 June 2004, 10:08   #1
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VHF Fixed radio

I would like some feedback off any one that has bought a fixed VHF Radio in the last year with regards reliability.

I have picked an Icom 401 VHF Radio with Mounting brackets and can get it delivered for £200. I have chosen this because of Icoms reputation and its small enough to fit my cockpit.

Unfortunately this radio does not have DSC built in. Its available as an upgrade and costs a small fortune to do so.

Can anyone elese recomend a Fixed VHF Radio, that is waterproof, rugged, with a loud speaker (I have a noisy engine) and has DSC at the £200 price point.

I see plenty of less than £200 models but was wondering if any one had personal experience of these cheaper models and could recomend one.
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Old 15 June 2004, 11:42   #2
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My flush mounted Silva s10 is still going well though everyone else seems to have packed up.

Mine was £170. Maybe ill put the replacement in a waterproof housing if this one dies.
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Old 15 June 2004, 11:54   #3
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Biggles the interface you need is a Mk1 human. Equipped with the most amazing computer they are able to read GPS LAT/LONG through twin optical devices and then talk into a radio with a voice communications system. More over they can then explain what the problem is, what they need and how many people on board etc or even explain they have it that big red button by accident.

If you already have the 401 (and I have a pair of them) then stick with them, perfectly good radio.

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Old 15 June 2004, 12:02   #4
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Originally Posted by Pete7
Biggles the interface you need is a Mk1 human. Equipped with the most amazing computer they are able to read GPS LAT/LONG through twin optical devices and then talk into a radio with a voice communications system. More over they can then explain what the problem is, what they need and how many people on board etc or even explain they have it that big red button by accident.

If you already have the 401 (and I have a pair of them) then stick with them, perfectly good radio.

Pete
.......assuming "The Good Lord" grants you enough time to do that before your boat is engulfed in flames/sinks/plague spreads etc....
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Old 15 June 2004, 12:05   #5
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Biggles I will stick with the ICOM. I have 8 fixed ICOM units on different RIBs (4 of them are the 401) and they all work perfectly OK. And Jon Brooks from ICOM is a supper guy and you get all the help and advise you need
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Old 15 June 2004, 12:14   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jono
.......assuming "The Good Lord" grants you enough time to do that before your boat is engulfed in flames/sinks/plague spreads etc....
Alternatively, dither over the DSC, asking your crew:

"now, is it press and hold for a distress call, or press then read display... ooh, there's a funny message on the display, which button now, oh I seem to have cancelled it. I'll try again... hmmm... hope this works... have you got the instruction manual... d'oh!"



Heard a couple of false alarms recently - the standard VHF using a Mk1 human, MK1 voice and Mk1 brain was cleared up in 30 seconds. The DSC alert which detailed "vessel on fire" took about 30 mins and the intervention of other vessles in the Newtown Creek area to ascertain that there was no vessel on fire in the area.

Here's a technical question for those in the know... is a Mayday call automatically relayed by DSC sets or does it need human intervention? Remembering back to my course, I think it needs intervention...
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Old 15 June 2004, 12:17   #7
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I agree the IC401 is a very good VHF radio had it on Seahawk
now on Seahawk II I have the IC601 a bit more expensive but I went for the
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Old 15 June 2004, 12:23   #8
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Just got my second 401. last one was on a smaller rib and got a right thrashing and soaking. Still worked perfectly when I sold it. I would stick with the 401 until you feel DSC is a necessity.
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Old 15 June 2004, 12:24   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard B
... is a Mayday call automatically relayed by DSC sets or does it need human intervention? Remembering back to my course, I think it needs intervention...
I'm not sure DCS set actually do anything, despite courses etc still think the set makes life harder rather than easier.

I have bought a Silva S15 DSC and regret it, not because the set is bad (well not yet), but because I know that over the next few years these radios will become cheaper, more reliable and easier to use and might actually be necessary. I think that the whole DSC thing will not really come into it own until all the existing VHF sets have died and I doubt that will happen for years.
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Old 15 June 2004, 12:45   #10
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Here's a technical question for those in the know... is a Mayday call automatically relayed by DSC sets or does it need human intervention? Remembering back to my course, I think it needs intervention... [/QUOTE]



From what I understand, it doesn't relay automatically via DSC. Intervention is needed.
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